Through these busy times, I’m realizing what wiser people already know: no matter how organized, how diligent, how dedicated you are, you simply can’t do it all. And you’ll just frustrate yourself trying. Go ahead, get up every morning at 5:30 and fall into bed exhausted at midnight, you still won’t be able to give your children the attention they need, spend quality moments with your spouse, pursue your own interests, and save the world at the same time.
The truth is that when certain areas of life are active with the noise of living, others will seem deathly quiet. And this ebb and flow, this noise and silence, reminds me of one of life’s unavoidable certainties—we are limited. We are small. We are not as capable as we think we are.
If you’re like me, you probably grew up with the notion that the sky’s the limit; if you can dream it, you can do it. You also learned that if you work hard enough, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. It’s only ever a matter of commitment and discipline. And so in the end, we celebrate those who “achieve” success and judge those who cannot. We pride ourselves in our accomplishments and feel belittled and embarrassed when we fail.
But with each busy week, each passing year, each new frustration and disappointment, I’m learning that there is a lot I can’t control. That success and failure are not always a result of what I did or didn’t do. And that the underlying assumption that we control our destinies is an insidious lie.
Because at its root is the belief that we are God.
These last few weeks have reminded me that I am not. And in an odd way, coming face to face with my humanity has been incredibly freeing. Because when I finally accept my limitations, I’m able to embrace His lack of them. And when I accept that all my work is useless unless He works for me, I can finally rest.
Ultimately it won’t change the fact that I’ll continue to dream and work hard to pursue those dreams. It just means in doing that, I have the hope that making them a reality doesn’t depend on me. That it never did. Instead, pursuing my dreams means throwing myself on the mercy of the One who does control it all, has already saved the world, and gave me my dreams in the first place.